An exhibition of red shoes in Mexico City, intended to draw attention to violence against women. An exhibition of red shoes in Mexico City, intended to draw attention to violence against women.

Gender alert declared in 41 municipalities

8 million women live in areas where femicides and other gender-based violence are common

Mexico can be a dangerous place for women. Today, according to official numbers, 15% of the country’s female population live in places where there is a gender alert due to the levels of violence registered against women.

Of Mexico’s 57.48 million women, 8.23 million live in one of the 41 municipalities where a gender alert, a mechanism intended to combat violence against women through several protocols, remains active.

To date, the federal government has activated a gender alert in 33 municipalities in the states of México, Morelos and Michoacán. A single state government, that of Jalisco, has decided to implement its own gender alert in eight locations.

The State of México has by far the largest number of women at risk, with 4.04 million living in the 11 municipalities with a gender alert. Since 2007, 13,060 cases of aggression against women have been registered in the country’s largest state in terms of population.

The alert has been in effect in eight municipalities with a combined population of 597,361 women in the state of Morelos since May 2014. Between 2000 and 2013, the state recorded 530 femicides, a crime in which women are murdered because of their gender.

In Michoacán, where 712 femicides were recorded between 2006 and 2014, 1.2 million women live in one of the 14 municipalities now under a gender alert. Gender-based violence in the state has been linked to confrontations between organized crime gangs.

The eight municipalities with a gender alert in Jalisco have a female population of 2.36 million. Intentional homicides against women in Jalisco numbered 560 between 2012 and 2015.

The declaration of an alert obliges authorities to implement measures that protect women’s rights and physical and legal security, conduct in-depth investigations into acts of violence against women and take steps to tackle the problem. The mechanism became law in 2007.

Since 2012, several organizations have demanded that alerts be declared in the states of Colima, Baja California, Sonora, Veracruz, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León and Chiapas.

The process that precedes the official declaration of a gender alert is long and cumbersome. It took five years for the State of México to declare gender alerts announced last summer.

The most recent alert, that in the state of Michoacán, was requested on December 2014 and declared by Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong on Monday.

Source: CNN Expansión (sp)

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